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Is ‘Gen Z Yellow’ the Next ‘Millennial Pink’ Colour Aesthetic?

Collage of Gigi Hadid, Emily Ratajkowski and Emma Chamberlain
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Let’s go back a few years to 2016, when a certain pink colour was the aesthetic. Remember when celebs were spotted on the red carpet in that pale, pastel pink? Or, when makeup packaging like Glossier and Kylie Skin made the colour their signature? The specific shade of pink even made its way into home décor. 

Well, move over “Millennial pink,” because it looks like the newest “it” colour is “Gen Z yellow.” 

See also: Viva magenta: Pantone’s 2023 colour of the year is the perfect pink-red

What is ‘Gen Z yellow?’

“Gen Z yellow” is a bright canary-yellow colour very similar to Pantone’s Colour of The Year in 2021, “illuminating.” According to Global News, the similarity in colour is no surprise considering Pantone’s influence of colour, especially since Pantone’s 2016 Colour of the Year, rose quartz, helped popularize the “Millennial pink” craze. 

The first mention of the yellow actually appears to date back to 2017, when writer Haley Nahman coined the term for Man Repeller. It started trending in 2018, but since then reports of the colour have died down and may have picked up speed again thanks to the next generation and designers featuring it on the Spring 2023 fashion week runways like Alexander McQueen and Moschino.  

Still, there is come debate over whether Gen Z yellow can reach the mass popularity of Millennial pink. Fashion features director for Elle magazine, Véronique Hyland tells The Guardian,I think there’s been a push to make various Gen Z colours happen — à la ‘fetch’ from Mean Girls — that I’ve been seeing since at least 2017, but it has not reached the same kind of ubiquity.” 

Trend forecaster Kendall Becker explains to The New York Post that the majority of dressers aren’t going to see a bright yellow dress on the rack and walk right up. This hue takes a bit of a teaching moment to ease into styling it.”

Related: Come on Barbie, let’s go party: How to nail a hot-pink Barbiecore aesthetic.


Celebs rocking the colour

We’ve seen many Gen Z celebrities take on the yellow colour aesthetic from the red carpet to the streets. You don’t have to go all out, but here are some ways the most-stylish celebs have been spotted wearing “Gen Z yellow.” 

Anya Taylor-Joy at the Golden Globes 2023
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Anya Taylor-Joy recently wore yellow on the Golden Globes red carpet. The canary yellow two-piece gown by Dior complemented her long straight hair and gold accessories and was arguably one of the best dressed that night. 

Gigi Hadid wearing a yellow lounge set pushing a stroller
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Gigi Hadid wore a bright yellow lounge set paired with matching yellow sunglasses. The yellow really pops on a cold winter day but her outfit looks super comfy and we’re all about comfort over here. 

Gigi Hadid wearing yellow pants and an orange cardigan
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The model also paired her yellow pants with an orange cardigan for a more subtle look. 

You may also like: Is the ‘no pants’ trend Gen Z’s latest fashion aesthetic?

Emma Chamberlain wearing a yellow dress and red cowboy boots
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If you don’t want to be too bold, you can go for a slightly paler yellow like Emma Chamberlain’s t-shirt dress paired with red cowboy boots and matching sunglasses. 

Emily Ratajkowski wearing a yellow dress
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Emily Ratajkowski channeled her inner Andie (à la How to Lose A Guy in 10 Days) with a custom Saks Potts satin yellow halter dress that’s making us have “You’re So Vain” stuck in our heads.

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